celery

Every time I sit down to write a little in this space, something yanks me away.  I am CONSUMED in my brain with decorating ideas for our basement…which is coming along- insulation is this week and then DRY WALL.  I am not sure I ever thought I’d capitalize that word on my blog ever, but it has come to this.  DRY WALL makes me excited. Plumbing and electric…notsomuch.

Also on my brain is Easter dresses.  I will confess…I have bought 3 and returned all but one.  One was adorable but too curtain-y, the second was perfect except it looked odd on maya’s little body, and the third one is unique and bright and looks awesome on my little munchkin.  Unfortunately, it threw the whole “coordinating” sibling outfit idea right out the window which I decided was fine since they rarely sit still for an actual picture together anyway- alas.  Yes, the very important thing about Easter.  HA.

I just sat here for 3 minutes solid because I got distracted by…basement dreams. I know, it’s pathetic.  Seriously.

Ok. So, Maya is finally crawling out of her teeth pain haze.  Seriously the girl was depressed with feeling the constant ache, I swear.  Bart kept lamenting that he missed his sweet fun daughter and I had to agree- it was getting old.  But today- she emerged!!!  She’s back!  Molars are in, let the fun begin.

Spring is supposedly here, but every time I leave my house I feel bitter cold.  What. the. heck?  I can’t handle it much longer.  I’m not usually one to care much about coldness, bc I would rather be cold than hot…but seriously, I need to return to my first love- the beach.  There was a tease- 3 weeks ago…alas.

Currently two of three kiddos are in bed for the night but Regan is up because I let him nap too long.  Guess what he is ravenously eating?  Celery.  Yes, I kid you not.  Plain celery stalks.  He has already consumed ten full sticks. (?what’s the term)

Okay, I have come to this…talking about celery.  I gotta get out of here.  I am so sorry for the blatant lack of creativity flowing through this blog lately.  I’ll be back…when the basement is finished.

speechless

As I sit in the dark by the light of one lone candle flame, I am overwhelmed.  God’s vehicle into my heart tonight was a book that I bought many months ago, written by a dear woman I got to know briefly in Kansas City.  I knew bits and pieces of her journey and thus had deemed the book one-i-will-read-when-i-am-ready…and tonight for some reason, I heard a whisper.  He said read it now.

Two hours passed and a steady stream of beautiful tears came along…it was as if God himself was sitting with me, urging me to keep going, to remember and believe who He truly is and how much He loves abundantly.  I’m not sure why I’m writing at the moment, because He has left me speechless.

I feel so loved.  

It’s powerful to read another’s testimony of how they’ve walked through valleys and mountains with Jesus…it led me straight to His feet…in awe of who He is and how He loves.

I want to live my life with this feeling.  The feeling of being loved no matter what, by the God of the universe…my heavenly Father, my faithful friend, my constant cheerleader.  This is the gift He promised- His everlasting Love.  I know feelings can be fleeting at times, but some feelings are meant to root into our soul and plant.  I could not follow Jesus with my whole heart without feeling Him, and I don’t think He wants me to blindly follow either.  He cares about my frame, about my will, my emotions, my dreams, my quirks, my fears…He knows it all and STILL HE LOVES ME LIKE THIS.

He knows my name.

He is writing my story and cares about each day that I wake up to.  What a gift to behold… His love.  Thank you Sara for sharing His beauty so tangibly, and thank you Jesus, for everything.

 

*Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet by Sara Hagerty*

currently…

currently…

wearing a new face moisturizer that is seriously awesome- so fresh and delicious smelling.  I confess, I don’t usually moisturize much except with a self-tanner lotion.  I know, horrible right.  Enter: Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream.  Now I will moisturize.

feeling very accomplished in life.  Excited for this new month and feeling like it will go by very quickly which seems fun- probably because I feel cold with all this snow.

enjoying dreaming about basement design and decor.  Our basement is finally beginning its trek to “finishdom” so I am feverishly pouring over paint colors and furniture options, light fixtures and toilets.  Okay, not excited about picking out a toilet, but it’s gotta be done.

smelling this amazingly awesome candle that came in the mail today.  It’s a Voluspa brand (Goji Tarocco Orange)- anthropologie carries the line, but I got this little tiny one from Nordstrom.  I wish there was a scratch and sniff thing for the computer- seriously so delectible.

eating air popped popcorn.  Yes…I traded in my stove popper for one that uses only air- figured it was healthier than oil and then I can justify using butter. Ha!

reading a ten pound book called Shantaram which was my bookclub’s pick for last month, but I never started it.  It’s supposed to be really really good and so I thought I’d buy the actual book and start reading.  It’s HUGE, like 900 pages or something.  And I confess, I’ve only read one page so far.  But I am determined to start reading again, and thus chose the longest book ever.

wanting another massage.  I got one yesterday and it was marvelous but I think I could go weekly.  Bart says no.  See basement reno budget.  I understand.  But still, I want.

needing a night away with my lovely husband.  Hoping that happens in March, or maybe April.  See basement reno budget.

drinking coffee with cream again.  Ohhhh it’s glorious!  And the best part is that I read that heavy cream is actually better for you than half-n-half so I am jumping on that band-wagon no questions asked.  I missed creamer…30 days was too long for us to be apart.

looking at all sorts of baby clothes for all the babies my pregnant friends are having.  I’m so excited.  And so thankful my baby is 15 months old.  I confess I have been looking at clothes for her too- can’t wait for summertime to see her in shorts and sandals and oh gosh.

helping Josiah write out Valentines for his classmates for the first time.  I thought I’d be that mom that does homemade ones with their kids…yeah, not so much this year.  I chose a step up from Target…Amazon hehe…dinosaur ones with temporary tattoos.  Also, it gives Josiah a chance to write his name a bunch, which he apparently needs to practice according to his report card.  Oops.

 

Whole30

Welp.  I did it.  The Whole30.  All of it.  It was grand.

If any of you know, I’m always up for trying out a diet.  It’s always been my MO to try something…and thankfully my husband has always been supportive, even when said eating plan costs A LOT of $.  So, enter Whole30- which IS NOT a diet persay, but more of a whole body reset…a way to give your body everything it needs and get rid of cravings and toxins…teach your body to fat adapt (burn the fat you have because you’re not feeding it sugar)…and so much more.  (And there are no up front costs at all- it’s more about buying certain things like sauces, condiments, snacks that can add up).

Normally I have a hard time having freedom to choose what I eat…it’s too much work for me.  In the past, I’d rather get on a plan that picks your food for you, or even better, provides the food/shakes.  However, I really want to be healthy more than I want to be skinny so I gave Whole30 a try.  The true purpose of this plan is not about weight loss, it’s about ridding your body of toxins and feeding it real whole foods.

I lost 12 pounds which is so awesome!!!!  But the reason I am going to continue on this plan is not because of the weight loss…it’s for the myriad of other cool things that changed in my body.  The best part being my moods- in the past couple years I have become increasingly more moody, which I hate.  Throughout this whole month I was generally happy, relaxed, chill…it was such a gift.  My energy levels are so much better as well- and I sleep great.  My skin is clearer- though I’ve never really had acne or anything like that- my skin is noticeably brighter…my hair is fuller… and I’m much more regular with, ya know.

I also have noticed I don’t need nearly as much food to keep me satisfied.  And I am making better choices for my family as well- since I had to cook a lot more during Whole30, it forced me to cook more overall.  My husband and my kids weren’t doing the plan, but they did get a lot of veggies and lean protein.  This month made me very aware of what I would love my lifestyle to be.  It’ll be a slow process of ridding our home of toxins and deciding what can stay…but I’m committed to sticking with the program except for creamer in my coffee.  I missed that immensely.

In case you are curious about Whole30 I would highly recommend reading the book-  It Starts With Food to get a handle on the whats and whys…but reading through the website will get you most of the information too.  I will also be honest in saying it wasn’t easy- especially in the beginning.  Killing the sugar cravings was the hardest  for me, and I know I’m not there yet- I still crave sweet and run for fruit…but that’s progress…I’m not running to chocolate.  And about week 3 I got very bored with food in general.  But it’s SO WORTH pushing past all the struggle because I have never finished something like this without wanting to bury myself in ice-cream and fries and candy…I literally only wanted creamer and popcorn.

The idea is to start a process of reintroduction after the 30 days, if you want to add any eliminated food into your diet.  The beauty of this is that you can find out how your body responds to certain foods…like dairy, grains, sugar, legumes.  Then you can decide whether or not to continue eating those added-back-in foods, or if it’s just not worth it.  I’m interested in my reactions to cheese, but going to wait awhile to introduce that.  For now, I want to be pretty strict, because my body is feeling great and I have a lot of weight to lose.  I strongly believe that the lack of sugar intake for my  body is the most important in my weight loss journey.  It was amazing to find where sugar hides…often in things I had would have never guessed contained sugar.

I could keep writing and writing because I feel so good, but my kids are calling…

snow day reflections.

Day 3 has begun of my solo parenting gig while Bart is in Aspen for work.  Of course, last night had me frantically charging everything I could possibly charge and finishing all the dishes and laundry so if we lost power for days I wouldn’t have to deal with dirty crusty stuff. Ha.  The one to two feet prediction ended up showing itself as 3-5 inches, thank the Lord!  I know above us- the real north east got a lot more but I am so glad I am not hunkering down in a freezing house trying to entertain three small children and keep them warm by a fire that I’ve never made.

It’s kinda making me reflective.  I didn’t sleep great last night, so I am hyper sensitive to whining and my personal space bubble this morning…thus I got very impatient with my boys already this morning.  But I stopped in amazement to quickly apologize for my behavior and without skipping a beat Josiah said ‘we forgive you’ and they moved on.  It made me realize how far God has brought me in this whole motherhood thing… I have soooo much to learn but I see how I have grown since the very first moment I held Josiah in my arms.  Gosh.

It’s so important to reflect on how we’ve grown, otherwise we (I at least) get stuck on what hasn’t improved, what I still need to work on.  It’s always a long list.  But I believe there are so many times that God just wants to wrap me up and say- “daughter, you are doing such a good job.  I am proud of you”.  I had one of those moments yesterday…and it was so sweet.  And I didn’t protest.  I used to always shake my head when He told me things like that…as if, He didn’t see everything so He couldn’t know.  HA!  How far from the truth is that?

The truth says He IS proud of me and YOU.  He loves each of us, no matter what.  He sees our hearts and that’s good news.

I am especially grateful for His love in times like this…when I am weak and alone.  And now I gotta go, since Josiah wants to show me a big surprise in the living room which is probably a line up of all his animals.  Very unique. Hehe.

my girl

DSC_0166I find myself continually in awe of the fact that I have a daughter.  I actually get to have a girl in my house.  It’s so fun.  I haven’t written about her in a few months, so I thought I’d jot down a few mayaisms while I’m thinking of them.

She is literally circling the house at a varied pace, depending on what she picks up along the way.  Just a few minutes ago I found her chewing the leaves on my big entryway plant (don’t worry mom, i think it looks ok still) and then before that she had a half empty bag of flour in her hand from the cupboards.  She found a cardboard box tonight that she promptly put on her head, rendering her blind, and proceeded to giggle and make her way through the house.  Every hat or headband we put on her she pull down over her eyes..it’s like a fun game to see if she’ll run into anything.

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She figured out an easy way to conquer the step into the playroom…she runs over to the edge then dive bombs onto her stomach and slithers the rest of the way into the room.  She loves to pace that room- back and forth, back and forth.  She opens and shuts the play kitchen doors about a million times and then runs to the other side to lay on the pillows…for a millisecond.  The girl is SO independent, it’s awesome.  She loves hugs and kisses but they usually need to be quick.

DSC_0034-2I still haven’t figured out when she actually wakes up in the morning or nap times, because I really think she spends a good amount of time in her crib playing and rolling around before she makes a peep.  She’s cautious with new people, pretty much a straight serious stare and nothing else- but if she knows you, she smiles quick and laughs even faster.

Maya is probably our dog’s favorite person on the planet because of her new acquired skill of flinging things off her high chair, even if she likes them…I seriously think she just wants to be nice to Brinks.  Of course, there are a lot of things I need to get on the training wagon about- throwing food, opening cabinets, toilet play, eating plants…the boys never did any of those things- well, maybe the toilet. :)

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Her hair has gotten out of control.  I look back at pictures a few months ago and just shake my head at how fast it grows.  Today was the first time I tried putting it all in pigtails and according to instagram it was good.  Her head is actually so small in size that I’m not used to seeing it without all that hair.  She’s so darn cute, I think I could buzz her head (DON’T WORRY I WON’T) and she would still look beautiful.

DSC_0035-2Seriously just so thankful for my little maya joy…she brings such smiles to our faces…all the time.  Hard to believe that just 14 months ago we didn’t know this little ray of sunshine.  Now I can’t imagine life without her.  We are saying goodbye to her infant car seat this week which really says she’s growing up.  She’ll be our baby girl until we get another one, but still, she’s growing up…eek.  Love you Mymy.

streams of consciousness

I will admit, I had to google how to spell that C word in the title.  It’s just so tricky. Alas.

So- for those of you who don’t know, I am attempting Whole30 which is a great eating plan/detox that I’ve tried before and failed at…but this time I’m doing it with 3 awesome girls and since we text everyday, I feel committed.  I mean, I made zoodles tonight for our spaghetti, and I don’t even have a spiralizer yet.  I’ve decided that will be one of my prizes for finishing all 30 days.  Of course, I want to eat like this 80% of the time after the 30 days, if I can do it…it’s just that good.

Car lines.  I think I should rename this simple term with a better description: “Sit in my car with 2 tinies not moving, except once for 15 seconds when they move the cones, for 30 minutes?!?  WHAT.THE.HECK?!  Today was my first time picking up Josiah from school at the end of the school day- he had been doing two mornings a week but was sad every single time I came to get him in the middle of everything.  Poor kid…so we extended his schooling and he was literally like a walking zombie when he finally showed up at “Car Line” aka: see above rename, but super happy.  I don’t even want to think about the fact that I may have to see that “Car Line” every single day for seemingly the rest of my life.  UGH.

We recently purchased a small gum ball machine for shameless bribery…ONLY FOR A DINNER eaten.  Regan eats anything for the most part, but Josiah has been much trickier and I’ve never wanted to have that child who lives on chicken nuggets and cheese sticks forever- so in an effort to start the New Year and the rest of his life right- he gets a gum ball if he eats his entire plate of food.  He learned of gum balls in Washington, and is obsessed with them…so heck, we figured let’s do this!  Hoping we can phase out a reward for eating at some point, but for now it works so I am happy.  Side note: This problem is coming from the baby/toddler who would literally house an entire bag of green beans back in the day… geez.

Oh- and I haven’t made official new years resolutions, but I did fill in one on my paper entitled “Big Things Happen One Day At A Time”… get this:  What will I do?  EAT NO SUGAR.  I am highly aware this is insane and I will never be able to check all 365 boxes, but my goal is to do the best I can.  Sugar isn’t my friend.

And because this post is mostly about food, I should mention that I actually bought a monthly planner for the sole purpose of MEAL PLANNING.  *gasp*  See, once upon a time, I was a good cook and did it pretty regularly.  Then, kids came along and with each child, my desire to cook lessened.  But I knew it wasn’t over for good.  I grew up eating family dinner at 5:30 every single evening and I’m so grateful to my mom for that.  I am not holding my breath that we will be eating home cooked meals every single night from here on out, but I do plan to do my best to increase that number monthly.  This week I did THREE IN A ROW…which for many of you might seem insanely not enough, but for me- that’s big.

I am on a spending freeze…frivilous fun spending…it’s been good for me.  I deleted all my favorite store apps from my phone, such as Nordstrom, Gilt, HauteLook, Modcloth, Zara, etc…and unsubscribed to every single store in my inbox which I’ve never ever done.  I have cleaned up my subscriptions many times, but never said goodbye to my favs- it’s been freeing, seriously.  I have so much more time on my hands, lol.

My new chalkboard quote is from John Steinbeck.  “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?”  Also it’s my mantra when I have to go out in the cold at 8am for school.

New favorite tv show- Madame Secretary.  It’s on CBS.  SO GOOD.  I’ve had to switch from iTunes to Amazon to CBS to get free episodes, but so far only paid for a couple.  It’s worth it.  So good.  SO GOOD.

For the first time ever, I didn’t put up all the beautiful Christmas cards that arrived.  I keep staring at the stack sadly…and have decided I am going to do the unthinkable (what so many people do) and hang them this month.  I did get a 6 foot wide by 4 foot high bulletin board for our small hallway, and am excited to figure out how to make a wood frame for it.  I envision kids soccer game schedules and favorite art and our sponsor kid’s pictures and cute sayings and so much more hanging all over it…layers and layers.  I can’t wait.  I bought googly-eye tacks for it (before my spending freeze started).

I am SO EXCITED for our christmas packages to arrive.  My dearest and best mom packed up all the gifts we couldn’t fit in our suitcases, which was pretty much all of the gifts, and mailed them to us.  I’ve heard a rumor they will arrive tomorrow- it’ll be like Christmas all over again.  YESSS!  I really need to go through the play room before we bring out all the new toys…shoot…another item on the to-do list.

Trivia Crack.  It’s a free app and it’s fun.  My sister introduced me to it, and I only play her…but I’d be willing to play a few others if you download it.  It’s simply trivia, in different categories- but it’s oddly satisfying.

because, well- she's beautiful.  Props to my sister for getting Maya to stand still AND find perfect light.

because, well- she’s beautiful. Props to my sister for getting Maya to stand still AND find perfect light.

I bought a huge poster board and titled it “REGAN goes POTTY”.  Yep, even bought treats and stickers.  I have no hype whatsoever, because, well, I know how well that went with Josiah for too long… but I’m gonna give it my best shot next week.  Josiah has promised to be my assistant (for which he thinks he’ll receive treats too) and at least he’ll provide me a tad bit of sanity amongst the long days ahead.

Ok.  My littlest is still awake so I’m gonna go watch her entertain herself.  Night!